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Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple sells 125,000 movie downloads in first week

Walt Disney chief executive Robert Iger said on Tuesday the company sold 125,000 movie downloads worth $1 million in revenue through Apple Computer's iTunes Store during the offering's first week, Reuters is reporting.

The entertainment conglomerate, which placed 75 movies for download on iTunes last week, expects the movie downloads to generate $50 million in added revenue during the first year of the program, Iger said.

Walt Disney Pictures and three other studios it owns — Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films — were the only participants in last week's gala iTunes movie store roll-out, which took place during an elaborate media event orchestrated by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs out in California.

Due to quibbles over licensing fees, other major studios have so far decided to observe Apple's iTunes movie download service from the sidelines.

Disney's movies become available on the iTunes Store the same day they are released on DVD, with new releases priced at $12.99 during their first week of availability, and $14.99 thereafter. Older "library titles" fetch just $9.99.

iTunes customers can purchase and download the flicks to watch on their computers and iPods, and will soon be able to beam them wirelessly to their flat screen televisions with Apple’s upcoming iTV digital media hub.

Analysts have said Apple's iTunes movie store and iTV media hub are just the start of what will be a multi-year assault aimed at capturing the living room.